Stocks wipe out gains since Trump’s election
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday fell below 18,332, its closing level the day President Trump was elected, amid worries about the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
With a fall of more than 850 points, or 4.5 percent, on Monday alone, the stock index wiped out all the gains made since the election. Just a month ago, the index hit a record high of more than 29,500.
Earlier in the day, the S&P 500 fell below its inauguration day level of 2,271, though at around 2,200 it remained above its Election Day level of 2,140.
The falls came despite the Fed’s announcement it would take aggressive additional action, including buying an unlimited amount of Treasury bonds, after investors were spooked when a stimulus package stalled in the Senate.
The news of the further falls in shares will be a blow to Trump, who has frequently touted the stock market’s gains as an indication of his successful economic stewardship.
The economic collapse surrounding the the coronavirus pandemic and the public health steps taken to contain it have reportedly begun to wear on Trump. On Sunday night, he suggested that he might lift some restrictions if the economic pain becomes too deep.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump wrote in a late-night tweet on Sunday. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
The economy has ground to a halt as people stay home and practice social distancing and businesses that attract groups of people have shuttered.
Major banks have forecasted that the United States has already fallen into a recession, and that unemployment rates could surpass those seen at the height of the Great Recession in 2009.
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